Map Of The British Empire In 1910. Has To Do With My Coverage Of ‘Poppy Day’, WW I Having Started 4 Years Later.


Anura Guruge

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From the 'Encyclopedia of New Zealand' at

From the ‘Encyclopedia of New Zealand’ at Click for original.

Original size. Click for original.

At the behest of ‘Nancy’ the lady from Ontario Canada who sent me the picture of the ‘Poppy Plaque‘ in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The countries marked in Blood Red formed the British Empire over which the Sun never set.

Nancy, like I, also liked the Pacific (as opposed to Atlantic) centered orientation of the map. To be fair, growing up in Ceylon in the 1950s, I was fairly used to this representation which had India and Ceylon towards the centre (sic) though I notice, with amusement, that this map does a fairly poor job of getting Ceylon’s, fairly simple, but elegant, shape wrong.


Map of Ceylon from 1914. The red in this map denotes the areas where coconuts are grown. The green denotes tea, which is grown upland in the hills.nuts


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About Anura Guruge

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5 responses to “Map Of The British Empire In 1910. Has To Do With My Coverage Of ‘Poppy Day’, WW I Having Started 4 Years Later.”


    Anu – have you a contact in your Imperial/colonial birthplace who would send you its current Flanders poppy replica ? If so I will have one of the Canadian
    version sent to you. If any of your followers can get the ones used elsewhere
    in other countries of the one-time Empire network of countries it would be great.
    British Legion one worn in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday and the 11th, has a green leaf on it. When it is sold on the little wood remembrance cross you pictured, there is no leaf. Can get one of these for your collection too.
    -Very useful what you are doing – apparently unique – looking at the use of this device borne of the imagery in a couple of lines of poetry in Belgium spring 1915 by a Canadian army officer/doctor/published poet. made public by the editors of Punch in London England near Christmas that winter ’15,
    from the outreaches of that powerful institution created by a seafaring nation…
    Not sure if there are Royal Legions in all these user nations, or other sponsors
    have developed to profit from this tradition of civilians and former service men
    and women together, recalling lost kin and comrades each November.
    -Good timing too, while we are contemplating the First Lady, senior version, of
    the democratic nations and her long reign almost up to that of predecessor
    Queen-in-her-own right Victoria..and wondering if the unborn great grandchild
    will be female too someday to take her place in this ancient institution.
    Three cheers for Anu !

    • aguruge says :

      Thank YOU. You are too kind. I will look to see what Sri Lanka does these days for poppies. I typically do not need a contact when dealing with Sri Lankan officials (though I have near zero dealings with them since I have not been a citizen since 1983 and left in 1967). My adoptive last name ‘Guruge’ carries weight in Sri Lanka. So that helps. I did SOME good research into OUR Punch issues last night. Here check out this link which has the ENTIRE Dec. 29, 1915 issue with THE INDEX. The poem, as you must know, was published in the previous issue. I used to subscribe to Punch. As you would imagine my kind of humor. I have at least ONE Punch book here in my library. I would LOVE to collect ‘PUNCHes’ but there is only so much I can collect, store and spend money on! On Sunday I bought a WHOLE PILE of old, 1949 – 1976, TIME magazines for $10. Some good ones. Still haven’t really looked through them. Thanks. Must run. Another crazy busy day — of my own making (of course). Cheers.


        I gather that surname is something in that country, parks and stuff.
        So you actually were a subsciber of that famed publication and own the annual index issue where people were still guessing who wrote IFF. Sir Andrew Macphail seems to have worked it out and did a book on J McC 1919.
        I sent along earlier an image of the original key publication by Punch, 3 weeks earlier, of which I still would like to get a single copy.
        I shall keep using “Ceylon” as that was the name in period of military history we are looking at – we used “Dominon” proudly back then


    To track the emergence of poppy as a national symbol honouring the Fallen of their wars, one needs to look at the first ‘Armistice Day’, commemorated on November 11th following year. In the British Empire family of nations, it begins with the proclamation of King George V of 2 minutes of silence, to be observed wherever one was when the hour struck 11 am.
    As you can see from the map of that era, he reached out to a lot of people in a lot of different parts of the world, many of which would have had casualties.
    -No luck so far in an image of this as a document, but am sending privately an interesting backgrounder, historical plaqued in Australia.
    A cenotaph, a common type of war monument representing an empty tomb symbolizing the nation’s war dead in far off places,”left where they fell”, the Empire custom, starts appearing in various places. Whitehall’s famous Luytens one ready for the first November 11th commemoration in ’19, lots of flowers in photos, but the Flanders poppy not yet singled out as the symbol of perpetual remembrance. At this point the United States is in step with these English-speaking allies, same date same significance.

    • aguruge says :

      As ever thank YOU. I did hear from the hotel. Spoke to the manager and sales manager. They will send me pictures. Have been crazy busy, also PC problems (or at least getting them fixed). I will go back to Poppy Day later this week — with luck. PROMISE. All the best. Thanks. Cheers, Anura

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